A Strong First Impression
Several prominent styling cues on Black Label trim, including the 22 inch Ebony Black painted wheels, the light up Lincoln cross emblem and the deleted B-, C- and D-pillars, all come straight from concept Navigator shown at the 2015 New York Auto Show. Unfortunately, gullwing doors from that prototype did not make final cut for the truck, which goes into production in November. Lincoln wisely decided to keep chrome mesh grille from concept, as well. This should have been a no-brainer because it brings Navigator in line with other recent redesigns, such as MKZ and resurrected Continental, plus it looks so much better than the vertical bar design it has been pushing for the past several years.
In a showcase of its technological aptitude, Navigator greets its approaching driver by illuminating the badge on its grille and shining a luminary welcome mat in front of driver’s door. Inside are an assortment of Yacht Club exclusive Coastal Blue Venetian and Blue Bay Alpine leathers cover steering wheel, dashboard and 30 way power adjustable front seats. Like latest generation Continental sedan, Navigator’s seats offer heating, ventilation and an impressive array of massage settings. Blue leathers were offset by trim panels made of white teak wood. Also on hand during demonstration was a Destination-themed Black Label Navigator, painted a charming shade of Burgundy Velvet. Also available in a coat of Black Velvet, Destination aesthetic features Mahogany Red Leather and Khaya wood appliques. The third musketeer is Chalet theme, a white and black leather interior with Silverwood trim pieces that is available with any of Navigator’s 7 exterior colors.
Tucked away between Pear Street and FDR Drive in shadow of Brooklyn Bridge, Lincoln picked Seaport district near the southern tip of Manhattan as its home base for a week of Navigator-centric demonstrations and activities that began with live concerts and concluded with a luxury tailgate for several reasons. First, a scenic area with plenty of foot traffic, it made for an ideal locale for wrangling potential customers into getting up close and personal with Navigator and other 2018 models. The up and coming neighborhood features a mix of high-priced housing, upscale retail and vibrant, walkable streets. It represents active luxury lifestyle Lincoln hopes the Navigator will appeal to. Of course, company also could not miss the opportunity to roll out a yacht-themed vehicle in city’s oldest commercial port, home to several piers and historic Fulton Fish Market.
The front passenger seat, with its 11 independent air cushions, its well padded headrest and various massage settings. The suspension was just as soft, rolling over road bumps and blemishes with ease and, thanks to a set of nicely insulated windows, 20 speaker sound system was free to pump out music without external interference from road or raucous streets of Lower Manhattan. Both second and third rows also offer ample legroom and 2 middle bucket seats have electric tilt and slide functions while the back row has a power recline setting.
Clean Cut Technology
The sharp 12 inch touch screen floats in middle of the cabin without disrupting the sleek design behind it. Like everything else with Navigator, technology and means for controlling it were designed with care and purpose. Rather than clustering controls just below infotainment screen, Lincoln has positioned everything closer to driver, putting it on center console and angling it upward. Opting for an electric transmission, Lincoln is able to open up area between driver and front passenger for more storage space and reposition gear selector. Instead of using a traditional gear stick or knob, Navigator has forward, reverse, neutral and park buttons in a “piano key” layout below central vents.
Rear sensors enable Navigator to back itself up and park in both parallel and perpendicular spaces. For the driver, 12 inch touchscreen delivers access to a Sync 3 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Bluetooth and hands free calling. Lincoln has added a head up display that displays current speed and speed limit, as well as time, temperature, expected fuel range and more on the windshield ahead of driver.
It comes outfitted with a 3,5 liter, twin turbocharged V6 engine that projects to make 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque while delivering a max towing capacity of 9’000 pounds. Those are impressive numbers and if accurate, should provide capabilities a buyer in this segment is seeking.